Gillingham come from a goal down to take all three points after Kyel Reid's opener...
The Sky Blues were defeated on the road as Gillingham came from a goal down to leave City empty-handed.
Kyel Reid put City ahead with a fantastic half volley before Max Ehmer quickly equalised, heading in a Ryan Jackson throw-in, and Billy Knott would score the eventual winner after being released by ex-Sky Blue Cody McDonald.
City very nearly made the ideal start to the match. Andre Wright, on his first start for the Sky Blues, was rewarded for his persistence as he won back possession and slipped it through to Marvin Sordell. The striker tried to place it under onrushing Gills ‘keeper Stuart Nelson, who was off his line quickly to smother the danger.
Just moments later Sordell looked to break the deadlock again. Gael Bigirimana won the ball in midfield before laying it to Sordell. With space on the edge of the box, the striker looked to replicate his recent strike against Millwall, but Nelson saved well low to his right.
The Gills main goal threat seemed to be coming from long-balls and throw-ins from Ryan Jackson. The fullback launched another long throw into the City box and McDonald rose to head it goalward, only to be denied by the gloves of Reice Charles-Cook.
Not long after, City took the lead through a magnificent piece of individual work from Kyel Reid. Bigirimana was again involved as he lay the ball in to the path of Reid, who on the half volley struck a fantastic effort into the bottom corner, giving Nelson no chance in the Gillingham goal.
However, it didn’t take long for the Gills to get back on level terms as their long-throw continued to cause problems in the City defence. Jackson’s launch reached the six-yard box and defender Ehmer found space with a glancing header to bring the home side level.
Reid was continuing to cause problems for the Gillingham defence with his pace and direct running. It was his mazy run that set-up Sordell, who after escaping his man fired a shot from 25-yards that looked to be heading in until Nelson excellently tipped the ball over the crossbar.
Gillingham started the second half on the front foot as they went in search of the goal to put them ahead. Bradley Dack firstly whipped a ball in from a free kick that was headed over by Deji Oshilaja, before Scott Wagstaff dragged a long-range effort wide.
The Gills should have taken the lead on the hour mark. McDonald was released on goal by a cutting Dack pass, but under pressure from the onrushing Charles-Cook, the striker hit his effort wide of the post.
Reid again was the main source of attacking intent for the Sky Blues, as another jinking run got him to the byline but his cutback evaded everyone and went out of play.
Shortly after it was Gillingham who took the lead. Rory Donnelly had space to turn and pick out a pass to the marauding Billy Knott. The midfielder, in acres of space, took one touch before placing the ball into the bottom corner and past the helpless Charles-Cook.
The Sky Blues looked to respond but were mainly restricted to long-range efforts at goal. Reid took aim after finding space, and his swerving effort was tipped over the bar for a City corner. From the resulting corner substitute Dan Agyei seemed to get in front of his man but headed just wide.
In the closing stages Ben Stevenson was close to bringing the Sky Blues a late equaliser. The substitute drove at the Gillingham defence and hit an effort from the edge of the box that went inches past the post.
There was one more chance for City as the ball fell in the box to Sordell, and just as it looked like the striker had found the bottom corner, Gills ‘keeper Nelson made a fantastic one-handed save to deny the Sky Blues a dramatic late equaliser.
Attendance: 7,664 (380)
Yellow: Di. Kelly-Evans, Bigirimana
Coventry City: Charles-Cook (GK), Willis, Turnbull, Ricketts (C), Page, Di. Kelly-Evans (Jones 45'), Bigirimana, Gadzhev (Agyei 73'), Reid, Wright (Stevenson 70'), Sordell.
Subs: Addai (GK), Harries, Lameiras, Tudgay.
Gillingham: Nelson (GK), Jackson (Osadebe 54'), Ehmer, Oshilaja, Wagstaff, Donnelly (Emmanuel-Thomas 68'), McDonald, Knott, Konchesky, Dack, Wright (C) (Byrne 45').
Subs: Hadler (GK), Pask, Oldaker, List.